ST. FRANCIS — Attorneys representing the Milwaukee Archdiocese filed a bar date motion Friday, May 6, a routine request in the bankruptcy process that asks the court to set a “final call” for anyone with a monetary claim against the archdiocese, according to Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki’s email communication to archdiocesan priests and central staff.
Two separate dates have been chosen, according to the archdiocese. Vendors, service providers and financial institutions would have until Monday, Aug. 1 to file a claim, while victims/survivors would have until Thursday, Sept. 15. According to the archdiocese’s chief financial officer John Marek, the dates were chosen on advice of the archdiocese’s attorneys, but it is still up to the court to accept or decline the dates.
“If there’s no objection, (the date) will be set, but if there are objections then the court – as I understand it – would hold a hearing and make a decision,” Marek explained in a phone interview with your Catholic Herald.
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Guided by the accomplishment of the voluntary mediation program and in an effort to make sure people understand the process and deadlines for filing a claim, the archdiocese also asked the court to approve an extensive public awareness campaign.
Archdiocesan and non-church related media would be utilized to publicize the two deadlines, similar to how the archdiocese publicized the availability of the voluntary mediation system in 2004, according to Archbishop Listecki. Recognizing the cultural diversity of the archdiocese, he also noted that notices will be published in English, Spanish and Hmong, and specific communications will also be tailored to the deaf and hard of hearing community.
“We would proceed with the publication and publicizing of that date as laid out in the motion, to get a very wide distribution of the date and the need of anyone who wants to file a claim, to do so,” Marek explained about what will happen should the court accept those dates. In addition, the bar date motion also outlines policies and procedures for filing claims, confidentially protocols, publication parameters for advertising and communicating the bar date and the languages used to communicate the bar date.